By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
The 2017 NHL Entry Draft is quickly approaching, and in case you haven’t heard, the Flyers hold the second overall pick. With one of Nolan Patrick or Nico Hischier going to end up in orange and black, the crown jewel of the Flyers rebuild will soon be in place. Philly has a plethora of young players on the horizon, yet still needs to take full advantage of this year’s draft to continue to stockpile talent. The franchise has 11 picks this year, so where does it need to focus its attention?
With both the goalie and defense prospect pools bursting at the seams with talent, that should not be its first priority this year. The Flyers need to add size to their forward prospects and badly. With the 44th pick they should be targeting players like Matthew Strome, Nate Schnarr or Stelio Matthews, all early-to-mid second round projections with good size.
The most intriguing string of picks for the Flyers is in the fourth round where they hold pick 106, 107, and 108. These picks would all essentially be a crap shoot, but there would be some decent options available, including Philly is Flyer favorite Mareks Mitens. There are also some big forwards projected for the mid-fourth round, including 6’4″ Adam Ruzicka.
This is all assuming GM Ron Hextall doesn’t make a blockbuster trade for a late first round pick again. we may even get more talent up front other that Patrick or Hischier. Essentially, taking big wingers, and forwards in general should be the main concern this year. Hextall does seem to draft certain positions in bigger quantities each year, so maybe this will be the year of the winger.
My Flyers mock draft
Pick #2– Nolan Patrick (C) Brandon Wheat Kings- OHL
Pick #44– Matthew Strome (LW) Hamilton Bulldogs- OHL
Pick #75- Jarret Tyszka (D) Seattle Thunderbirds- WHL
Pick #80- Ostap Safin (RW) HC Sparta Praha- Czech
Pick #106- Adam Ruzicka (C) Sarnia Sting- OHL
Pick #107- Mareks Mitens (G) Aston Rebels- NAHL
Pick #108- Eemeli Räsänen (D) Kingston Frontenacs- OHL
Pick # 137- Davis Koch (RW) Edmonton Oil Kings- WHL
Pick #168- William Lindgren (D) Orebro HK- SHL
Pick #-196- Barrett Sheen (LW)- Kootenay Ice- WHL
Pick #-199- Jacob Golden (D)- London Knights- OHL
Image credit: Mike Morrealle via NHL.com